Weekly Blog

The Beauty of Life

Is there anything in your life that exudes pure beauty? No matter how many times you see it, it takes your breath away. It is so beautiful that you can’t look away, but instead are mesmerized by it. You are in awe of its creation, believing that something much greater than humanity has to be responsible. You are reminded of God’s great glory, given that it can only be He who can produce something so magnificent.

Most Beautiful Place on Earth

For my wife and me, one of those things, those places is Sedona, Arizona, home of the most beautiful landscape we’ve ever experienced. Known as Red Rock Country, it is the most majestic of places. No matter the direction you turn, there are enormous, gorgeous red rock formations that God gifted this part of the country with thousands of years ago.

In going to Sedona for the past 13 years, we are always captivated by what we see. We can be driving down the same road we’ve been on dozens of times and see a huge rock formation in a totally different way. It’s truly amazing. Add to that the many notables, including Coffee Pot Rock, Bell Rock, Chair Rock, Elephant Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Rock, and more.

From left to right: Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Rock, Elephant Rock, and Coffee Pot Rock.

Lastly, there’s the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was built into the red rocks of Sedona in 1956. In March, 2018, a new Corpus was added. The Chapel is beautiful inside and out.

We Are Incredibly Unique Too

Another example of God’s grand work and imagination is humanity, you and me, all of us, each made so uniquely and special. Out of the 7 billion people on earth, no 2 of us are made the same. We all have very individual gifts and talents, put on this earth for a particular purpose.

You were made for Greatness…check Scripture (Jeremiah 1:5 or 29:11). Here’s the truth:

    • God conceived of us thousands of years ago
    • He made each of us in His image and likeness
    • As part of His grand plan, individually and as a part of all of humanity
    • Made each of us with special gifts, talents, desires
    • He made us for a specific purpose
    • God doesn’t make mistakes; He doesn’t make junk
    • On a scale of 1-10, we are all 10s
    • He loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done
    • God wants the very best for you
    • He wants you to be happy
    • God made you for Greatness

God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. He loves you more than the Red Rocks. He loves you for your “who”, not your “do. God made you; He loves you and wants you to live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. What are you waiting for?

Please comment to me at

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

What’s Next in Life? 

I’m now almost 60, entering what seems like a different season of life. Life you, I’ve experienced many seasons in the past, each with their joys and their challenges. Although not always the case, a different season sometimes means a different direction. And sometimes a tweak to a current direction. 

Attending Mass recently, I saw an old friend, a Deacon who is quite busy doing ministry having retired from his full-time professional life. When he asked me if I had considered the same, it got me thinking. I retired from the professional world 10 years ago, when I started work for Franciscan University of Steubenville. As Vice President of Outreach and Evangelization, I can’t imagine leaving for at least another 10 years. Not that there aren’t challenges…there are a lot, especially coming out of COVID. But I’m invested in the mission, love the University, and continue to be desirous of doing ministry. I feel that I’m where God wants me to be. 

Related to the above and on a personal basis as well, I continue to be passionate about sharing the love of Christ, that gift of encounter that changed my life forever. That’s why I continue to do these blogs and the occasional talk, sharing my story and the lessons I’ve learned…all real-life stuff to help people no longer be overwhelmed, instead leading lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

© Steubenville Conferences, Franciscan University of Steubenville 2022

With the Steubenville Conference Office being part of my organization, my summers are very busy. Easily bored, I’d spend weekend time other times of the year on ministry stuff, some University related and other for my personal ministry. Still being passionate about it all, something is changing. Not my focus…I still want to work for the Church and do ministry, but the intensity. I don’t want to run as hard as I used to. I love my wife, who is my best friend…and I want to be spending more time with her, sometimes just hanging out, while at other times doing the things we enjoy doing. We kid around that we’re all we got…Thank God!!!

BTW, as I’ve indicated before….you don’t have to be in ministry to do ministry. In fact, I believe most often more can be accomplished outside the Church than from within. EVERYONE, whether they know it or not, deeply yearns for the love of Christ. You, me….we can do that everywhere.

So what’s the point to the above, other than being a stream of consciousness in my life. First, as I reflect, including on the more challenging parts of my life, I live in this place of gratitude for all the seasons of my life. I’ve been blessed abundantly in many ways. And even in the tough times, I firmly believe that all is per God’s grand plan for my life, helping me to be my very best. “No pain, no gain…no Cross, no crown”. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be who I am or doing what I do…without all those experiences. Praise God!!!

Second is “surrender”. For the longest time, I thought it was “Mark’s will be done”. I had it wrong. Today I endeavor to live “God’s Will be done”. I recently read an ebook by Bishop Barron on discernment. He points to several things, including prayer, reading Scripture, and participating in the Sacraments, all to help us understand God’s Will for our lives. He states that what God wants for you and me is the path of greatest love. Love as per the Catechism is willing the good of another. The Bishop poses some questions for each of us:

  • What makes love more prominent in your life? 
  • What makes it easier in your life to love? 
  • What path will open the greatest capacity for love? 
  • What’s the demand of love in the present moment? 
  • What is the path of greatest love?

Your answers to the above, according to the Bishop, are what God wants you to do. With this as guidance, how do I take my life and discern where specifically God wants me, what He wants me to do? For me, not necessarily changing the big things, but the holy moments in life. How about you? How can you apply this to your life?

Whether it’s a new season or mid-season, an attitude of gratitude is a great thing. And my lived experience is that following God’s Will is the only path to peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

As always, feel free to contact me at with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Ministry Update: How Passion Feeds Activity

Of late, many have asked what’s going on with the ministry. Following is an update, indicative of how passion feeds so much activity.

You are one of several thousand on our email list. Our open rate, week after week, is above average. As such, we want to personally thank you for your participation in our ministry. I say “we” instead of “I” because it takes more than me to do this. Mary Kate (MK) Monin is my editor, videographer, and creative designer. In other words, MK makes our stuff look really good. Cyndi, my wife, is not only my best friend and biggest supporter, but closest adviser. I’m always bouncing ideas off of her, most often (should always in hindsight) heeding her advice. So, thank you, thank you, thank you…to them and you!!!

Starting on April 25, 2018, the Feast Day of St. Mark the Evangelist, we send out a blog every Wednesday, with the total to date being approximately 120. We literally have never missed a Wednesday, with the entire history available on our website. Although topics are varied, typically what is on my heart and mind for that week, often related to current events, they all tie back to the faith and our loving God.

Although I’m not certain of the exact timing, we started putting out videos (vlogs) every Friday. We’re also active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

We published a FREE 14-week program, beginning May 6th and ending August 5th. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive. Hope you got a lot out of it…you can revisit any of the lessons through our website link above.

We’ve continued to update the website as things have developed, including our Speaking Page. As you might imagine, I’ve not done many events lately, with my last being a Parish Mission during Lent, just prior to COVID. With several having to be canceled, the next thing on the calendar is a Men’s Retreat in late October. We’ll see.

The thing we’re working on now is an online course we are hoping to launch this coming January. We are playing with the title of…

“Going from Overwhelmed to Fulfilled: God’s Master Plan (and Mark’s lived experience) on how to Eliminate the Stress from Your Life, and experience Peace, Joy, and Purpose”

We’re investing greatly in the project…hopefully it will be well received. Priced very moderately, we’ll have a hardship clause so that those who can’t afford it, can still enjoy the benefits.

Love to hear your thoughts on the title and idea of a course.

Although I have a full-time job, I love spending time on Mark Joseph Ministries. In fact, I’m passionate about it. The reason is three-fold:

  1. My life has been absolutely transformed in understanding the unconditional love and forgiveness of God. As such, I feel like God gave me a gift.
  2. I don’t hear the lessons I’ve learned (my message) delivered anywhere, definitely not consistently, inside or outside the Church
  3. Given how dramatically my life has changed, I am convicted to share the message with as many as possible…which includes YOU!!!

I sincerely hope that you and your family are doing well, especially with the pressures of COVID-19 and the current division within our country. I remind myself regularly…God is GREAT; He’ll get us through this too.

As always, I’m very interested in your thoughts, comments, questions, or concerns. Please feel free to email me at Even reach out with a problem or challenge you’re having. Always happy to try to help!!!

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Week 12# – Finding Your Purpose

This is the 12th of our 14-week program, where we provide Lesson #12, Finding Your Purpose. Have any of the following questions occurred to you, as they had to me:

  • Why am I here?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What is life really all about?
  • What mark do I want to leave on this world?

In talking to folks, although we may arrive at this place at different times, possibly not asking the specific questions above (there are many others), most of us seem to reach a point in our lives, where we come to believe that life is about more than what we’ve been doing to date.

For those of us on this Christian walk, that “purpose” most often has to do with our faith, what we feel God is calling us to do. I know that was very true for me. Having had my conversion in 2006 and growing in faith since, I felt a call to combine ministry with career in 2012, when I joined the Conference Office of Franciscan University of Steubenville. Recently appointed Vice President of Outreach and Evangelization, I absolutely love the direction of the University, the people I get to work with, and my job. Not sure what retirement looks like, they’ll have to kick me out of there.

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

Living Your Faith Doesn’t Mean that You Have to Work for the Church

Don’t misunderstand me. I often say, “you don’t have to be in ministry to do ministry”. Although that was my direction, it doesn’t have to be yours’. In fact, in most cases, I’d suggest that you can accomplish much more outside the Church…in sharing our faith, the love of Christ, than you can in working for the Church.

Why do I say the above? In objectively looking at our massively secularized society, with all of its challenges as spelled out in the first 7 weeks of these free lessons, people are starving for peace, joy, and fulfillment in their lives. As you and I know, the only true path is through Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

You have that opportunity, we all have that opportunity, in all that we do, with all who we encounter, to share the love of Christ and change lives forever. That doesn’t mean hitting people over the head with the Bible, but loving them, caring for them, being compassionate…and present to them. As a friend who spent years and years in ministry would put it, “spending the necessary time to earn the right to share the Gospel”. And as I like to say, “people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care”.
In my book and the online course that we’re launching this fall, I detail a process on how to zero in on your God given purpose by identifying and praying through your talents, desires, and needs. That said, I decided to dedicate today’s blog to what is universal to the individual and unique purposes that we’re called to. That is to love, love, love our brothers and sisters, sharing the love of Christ with all who we encounter.

Suggested Actions

So, here’s my suggestion for this week…something that could possibly become a norm going forward.

  • During your morning prayer routine this week, think about two things:
    • Those who the Lord puts on your heart for that day, praying through how you can serve and love them….tangible things
    • Given your talents, desires, and needs, what is God calling you to? Listen for His voice, which will lead you to your God given purpose.
  • Watch this Friday’s video on this same subject….it will be emailed to you.

Please join us next Wednesday for Week #13 when we talk about how You Were Made for Greatness. As always, please feel free to get to me with questions, comments, or concerns at

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph


Week #1 – Being Overwhelmed
Week #2 – Earning the love of others
Week #3 – Lack of self-love
Week #4 – Fear
Week #5 – False gods, False happiness
Week #6 – Life’s Tragedies
Week #7 – Wounds, Resentments

Week #8 – Discovering God’s Love
Week #9 – Forgiveness and healing
Week #10 – Becoming the best Possible You
Week #11 – Path to Peace
Week #12 – Finding your Purpose
Week #13 – You were made for Greatness
Week #14 – True Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment